The up-Island school committee heard updates early this week on plans for alternative learning spaces at the Chilmark and West Tisbury schools, after discussions of out-of-school learning centers stalled at a recent all-Island school committee meeting.

Last week, the all-Island committee heard proposals from the YMCA and Boys and Girls Club to run licensed learning centers for students in grades 5-8, who are not returning to the building consistently this fall. But with details of transportation, final enrollment and pricing still uncertain, the committee postponed a decision.

Meanwhile, up-Island, the conversation has surged ahead, with town officials giving schools the green light to use the Chilmark Community Center as a remote learning center.

At the up-Island meeting Monday, principals at the West Tisbury and Chilmark schools shared preliminary plans for district-specific, remote learning centers.

West Tisbury principal Donna Lowell-Bettencourt said since re-opening last Thursday, the school has begun a remote cafe-style learning center in its gym. According to Ms. Lowell-Bettencourt, the cafe will provide a school-supervised space for students who struggle with remote learning, for those who cannot access reliable internet and for children who have been designated high needs by the school.

As of Monday, the school had 12 K-4 students in the program, with plans to add 25 students from grades 5-8 later this week. Teachers are also closely monitoring a list of other students who might require educational or social support in the future, Ms. Lowell-Bettencourt said.

The cafe is staffed by a trained substitute teacher, with help from the principal and a handful of other teachers, but the school hopes to write a grant to fund additional full-time staffing for the future, Ms. Lowell-Bettencourt told the committee.

Beyond school-supervised learning spaces, Ms. Lowell-Bettencourt expressed general support for the Y and Boys and Girls Club offsite learning centers but said she hopes to meet student need at the school before investigating off-site plans.

“It could all shift, but we’re just starting, we’re seeing how we can support these students and their families and we’re learning a lot quickly,” she said.

Chilmark principal Susan Stevens said plans for a remote learning center at the Community Center are under way. The community-based learning center will be offered to Chilmark students in grades 4-5. So far, the school has secured a substitute teacher to staff the center, but has not found cleaning staff, Ms. Stevens said.

Committee member Robert Lionette urged the principals to hasten their efforts. He under new state licensing guidelines, spaces already in use by a school do not require supplementary licensing to operate.

“I would strongly encourage collaboration,” Mr. Lionette said. “Time is of the essence. We’re talking about a lot of families, up-Island that are on DSL, these families are working . . . they’re under pressure and we need to move forward with a sense of alacrity to get these opportunities open and available.”

The committee postponed further discussion until more information about student interest in the programs is available.

Moving on to longer-term projects, the committee heard about the up-Island district’s capital projects from school business administrator Mark Friedman.

According to Mr. Friedman, a plan to replace 33 windows in the Chilmark School has entered phase two, with construction slated to begin in mid-October. Ongoing efforts to renovate the Chilmark School’s HVAC system are also inching forward, Mr. Friedman said, with the project’s working group preparing to select a designer. The district’s third capital project — the West Tisbury roof design project — is on hold until the next Aquinnah special town meeting, when officials will vote on the town’s share of the project, Mr. Friedman said.

Also Monday, an early look at the FY21 expenditure and revenue report showed no significant negative variances for the schools. In West Tisbury, staff health insurance costs and custodial costs might go slightly over budget this year, while in Chilmark, a new full-time nursing position is the only notable change to the budget, Mr. Friedman said. With plenty of financial uncertainties ahead, the FY22 budget is still in progress, he added.

In final business Monday, the committee heard the first reading of a mandatory mask policy, already approved by the high school committee. The up-Island committee voted unanimously on the policy, with the caveat that it formally require mask wearing for K-1 students. The policy will undergo two more readings before being finally approved.